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FATE OF SLAVES From Mecca to Sindh to North India

from M. A. Khan’s book,Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism and Slavery“. The part discusses employment of slaves in 1) Construction, 2) Army, 3) Royal Factories, 4) Palaces, 5) Households and Agricultural farms. Those, who think Islam showed great generosity to slaves by giving opportunities to take position in the army, should read this part (Part 1, Part 8).

FATE OF SLAVES From Sindh to North India

When Cult of Terror’s called Islam and Thug Muhammad died in 632, he had left behind a few thousand dedicated Muslim converts, who mainly engaged in raiding and plundering for making a living as well as for expanding the Muslim territory. This rather small band of Muslim warriors embarked on a stunning mission of conquest bringing vast territories of the world under their sway within a short time. In the process, they enslaved great multitude of the vanquished infidels, a large majority of whom involuntarily became Muslim.

Upon entering Sindh with only 6,000 Arab soldiers, Qasim had enslaved approximately 300,000 Indian infidels in three years. Similarly, Musa (698–712) had enslaved 300,000 Blacks and Berbers in North Africa. The early community of Muslims in Sindh consisted of a larger number of slave Muslims and a much smaller number of their Arab masters. Combined together, they formed the administrative machinery of the new Islamic state. Running such an enterprise needed a large amount of manpower in that non-technological era. Consequently, large numbers of these infidels, turned Muslims through enslavement, had to be engaged in many kinds of activities—as sex-slaves to the expansion of the military.

In India, there was no occupation in which the slaves of Firoz Shah were not employed,’ noted medieval chronicle Masalik.

[1] This was the case under all Muslim rulers, not only in India, but also everywhere else. In Southeast Asia under the Muslim rule, slaves were also engaged in almost every conceivable function.’

[2] Indeed, almost entire work-force in Islamic Southeast Asia consisted of slaves as already noted.

Employment in building and construction: One major task Muslim invaders and rulers undertook in conquered lands was the construction of outstanding buildings for mosques, minarets, monuments and palaces. These were intended for declaring the might and glory of Islam, overshadowing the achievements of the native infidels. According to Chachnama, Qasim, informing of the building initiatives undertaken by him in Sindh, wrote to Hajjaj, ‘…the infidels converted to Islam or destroyed.

Instead of idol temples, mosques and other places of worships have been built, pulpits have been erected…’

[3] Qutbuddin Aibak had started construction of the impressive Qwat-ul-Islam (might of Islam) mosque in Delhi as early as 1192, more than a decade before establishing Muslim rule in India (1206). According to Ibn Battutah, the site of the Qwat-ul-Islam mosque ‘was formerly occupied by an idol temple, and was converted into a mosque on the conquest of the city.’

[4] Aibak started the construction of the magnificent Qutb Minar—a minaret for announcing the Islamic call to prayers—in Delhi in 1199. The Qutb Minar ‘has no parallel in the land of Islam,’ wrote eyewitness Battutah.

[5] The undertaking of these huge ventures in India, ahead of establishing a firm foothold for Islam, affirms that the declaration of the might and glory of Islam was an urgent and focal mission of the conquest. To undermine and degrade the achievements of the infidels further, materials from destroyed temples, churches, synagogues etc. were used in the construction of Islamic structures. A Persian inscription on the Qwat-ul-Islam mosque testifies that materials from twenty-seven destroyed Hindu and Jain temples were used in its construction.

[6] Similar materials were used in the construction of Qutb Minar, about which, writes Prof. Habibullah, ‘the sculptured figures (of Hindu gods, goddesses etc.) on the stones being either defaced or concealed by turning them upside down.’

[7] Muslim invaders of India started with the building of such magnificent mosques, minarets, citadels, and mausoleums of their religious significance; to these, they later added outstanding palaces and other buildings across India.

Their constructions were often completed in double-quick time. In excessive enthusiasm, Barani informs us that a palace could be built in two to three days and a citadel in two weeks during Sultan Alauddin Khilji. Although an exaggeration, it nonetheless tells us that a large number of people, invariably slaves, were employed in these works of great endeavor; and they had to work under tremendous pressure to complete those ventures in the quickest of time in that non-technological era.

It is little wonder then that Sultan Alauddin had accumulated 70,000 slaves, who worked continuously in buildings. Qwat-ul-Islam mosque and Qutb Minar were projects of great endeavor, since materials from destroyed temples had to be dismantled with great care for reusing them. Nizami records that the temples were demolished using elephants, each of which could haul a stone, for which 500 men would be needed. Much of the delicate work, however, was done by human hands and a large number of slaves must have been employed.

[8] Furthermore, there was little respite in building new cities, palaces and religious structures. Many often, after a new Sultan ascended the throne—happened frequently because of ceaseless uprisings and intrigues, which so characterized the Islamic rule in India—he would construct a new city and palace in order to leave an enduring legacy of his own. Abandoning Iltutmish’s old city, Sultan Ghiysuddin Balban (r. 1265–85) built the famous Qasr-i-Lal (Red Fort) in Delhi. Likewise, Kaiqubab built the city of Kilughari. Battutah testifies that ‘It is their custom that the king’s palace is deserted on his death… and his successor builds a new palace for himself.’

[9] He noted of Delhi that it was ‘the largest city in the entire Muslim Orient,’ made up of four contiguous cities, built by different sultans.[10]

Moreover, congested cities, with no modern sewage and garbage management systems, used to get dirty and uninhabitable quickly and a new city used to be built to replace it. Battutah and Babur recorded the destruction of old cities because of moisture, which necessitated shifting to a new city where everything was clean and tidy.

Hindus, enslaved in large numbers, were engaged in cleaning up the dirt and in constructing new cities for the largely city-dwelling Muslims. As already cited, Sultan Firoz Tughlaq had assembled 180,000 slaves for his services.

Of these, a contingent of masons and builders with 12,000 slaves may have been engaged in stone-cutting alone, estimates Lal. Emperor Babur recorded that ‘[only] 680 men worked daily on my buildings in Agra…; while 1491 stone-cutters worked daily on my building in Agra, Sikri, Biana, Dulpur, Gwalior and Kuli (Aligarh). In the same way there were numberless artisans and workmen of every sort in Hindustan.’

[11] Throughout Islamic rule, Muslim rulers of India built great mosques, monuments, mausoleums, citadels, palaces and cities as well as repaired them. Indisputably, the greatest Muslim achievements in India were the great architectural monuments; their glares draw numerous visitors to India from around world even today.

And it is the great multitude of enslaved Indians, who supplied unconditional labor as well as skills at all levels of their construction, with Muslim masters on watch with whips (Korrah) in their hands.

A similar pattern in building palaces, monuments and cities of exquisite stature existed in other parts of the Islamic world.

In Morocco, previous rulers had built great capital cities in Fez, Rabat and Marrakesh with stunning palaces and monuments. When Sultan Moulay Ismail captured power in 1672, he decided to build a new imperial city at Meknes, which was to surpass the scale and grandeur of all great cities in the world.

He ordered to pull down all houses and edifices clearing a huge area for building a stunning palace, whose walls stretched many miles. The palace compound was to feature various interlocking palaces and chambers extending in endless succession across the hills and valleys around Meknes.

There were to be vast courtyards and colonnaded galleries, green-tiled mosques and pleasure gardens. He (the sultan) ordered the building of a huge Moorish harem, as well as stables and armories, fountains, pools and follies.’

[12] Sultan Moulay Ismail had wished to build a palatial city greater than that of King Louis XIV at Versailles, the greatest palace in Europe. In reality, he much outdid the Versailles palace. A British entourage, led by Commodore Charles Stewart, on a diplomatic mission to sign a peace treaty with Sultan Moulay Ismail and to free the English captives, visited the palace; they found it far larger than any building in Europe.

Even the greatest and most opulent palace of King Louis XIV was much tinier. The most stunning edifice was the al-Mansur palace, which stood 150-feet high and was ‘surmounted by twenty pavilions decorated with glazed green tiles.’

[13] The sultan’s palace was built exclusively by European slaves, aided by bands of local criminals. The palace was four miles in circumference and its walls were twenty-five feet thick. According to Windus, ‘‘30,000 men and 10,000 mules were employed everyday in the building of the palace.’’ Every morning the sultan would appear to oversee the construction and give idea for the days work.

Slaves would work meticulously to finish the allotted work in time. As soon as he finished one project, he would start another.

The scale of the building project was so huge that ‘‘Never had such a similar palace been seen under any government, Arab or foreign, pagan or Muslim,’’ wrote Moroccan historian ez-Zayyani. Some 12,000 soldiers were needed to guard the ramparts alone

.[14] There was no respite in the building activity in Sultan Moulay Ismail’s palace. Rarely satisfied with finished buildings, he would order their demolition for rebuilding all over.

In order to keep his slaves busy, he would order them to demolish twelve miles of the palace wall for their reconstruction at the same place. When inquired about this, the sultan replied, ‘‘I have a bag full of rats (slaves); unless I keep that bag stirring, they would eat their way through.’’

[15] Sultan Moulay Ismail’s successor Moulay Abdallah was as cruel as his father. In order to subject his slaves to hard labor and keep them busy, he ordered the stunning palace buildings built by his father—”the pride and joys of Meknes”—be razed down and reconstructed by his European slaves.

And he took sadistic joy at the suffering and even death of his slaves while they worked. while the slaves were working,’’ wrote Frenchman Adrian de Manault, ‘‘one of his pleasures was to put a great number of them at the foot of the wall which were about to collapse, and watch them be buried alive under the rubble.’’ He treated his slaves in ‘‘a most grievous and cruel manner,’’ wrote Pellow.

[16] Engagement in the army: Another major enterprise, in which, slaves were employed in large numbers was the Muslim army. Musa in North Africa had drafted 30,000 slaves into the military service. Late in the eighteenth century, Sultan Moulay Ismaili had a 250,000-strong army of black slaves.

Muslim slave armies, 50,000 to 250,000 strong, were normal in Morocco, Egypt and Persia.

The dreaded Ottoman Janissary Regiment that brought down Constantinople in 1453 consisted exclusively of slave soldiers. Qutbuddin Aibak, the first sultan of Delhi, was a slave of Sultan Muhammad Ghauri. The sultans of Delhi until 1290 were all slaves. Their army also consisted mostly of slaves, imported from foreign lands.

Many Muslim and non-Muslim historians and commentators have sought to sell this policy of employing the slaves in the armed forces as an ennobling and liberating act on the part of Muslim rulers.

This noble exercise, they argue, enabled slaves to reach the highest rank in the military; they even became rulers. It is true that many slaves rose to the top in the military; and some, through cliques and intrigues, even rose to the position of rulers. But this, for Muslim rulers, was never a gesture of their generosity.

Instead, it was, for them, a necessity to continue the conquest for their own interest: for expanding their kingdoms and for acquiring more plunder, slaves and revenues from the vanquished. It also became a tool for continued brutality, mass-slaughter and enslavement of the infidels.

Every slave, who happened to reach the height of power, paved the way for the brutalization and destruction of tens to hundreds of thousands of innocent lives. Every slave, who became a normal soldier, destroyed a few to many innocent lives.

After capturing Debal in 712 with 6,000 Arab warriors, Qasim could not take his conquest further without expanding the army. Hence, after taking a city, he had to take time to consolidate power and expand the military, for which, some of the enslaved were unconditionally drafted in.

[17] Once the military power improved, he could send forward a new expedition while keeping the already-conquered territories secure.

He made about half-a-dozen major expeditions after arriving in Sindh and gradually his army swelled to 50,000 soldiers. A part of the new recruits came from enslaved Indians. ‘Kingship is the army and the army is the kingship,’ wrote Barani, implying the central importance of a powerful army in the plunderous Muslim rule and conquest.

The engagement of slaves in the army, therefore, was not a favor by Muslim rulers to the enslaved, but quite the opposite. It was not a generous act of liberation and elevation of slaves by Muslim rulers; it was a compulsion for their own good fortune.

Most of all, joining the Muslim army was not a free choice for slaves, but a compulsion. And every slave drafted into the army paved the way for the destruction and brutalization of the lives of scores of innocent non-Muslims, normally their co religionists of the yesteryear.

After suffering reverses in the battle of Tours (France) in 732, Islamic conquests became somewhat subdued. The Jihadi spirit of the Muslim army was probably dwindling. With vast territories conquered and huge wealth accumulated, the Arab and Persian soldiers had probably lost their zest for engaging in further bloodletting wars, which risked their lives. This time, the North African black and Berber slaves formed the bulk of the Muslim army that continued Jihadi expeditions in Europe.

On the eastern borders of the Islamdom, Muslim rulers found another people, the Turks, with an unceasing zeal for wars and bloodbath. The Abbasid caliphs, especially Caliph al-Mutasim (833–42), started drafting the Turks in the army in large numbers, replacing the lackadaisical Arabs and Persians. Most of these Turks were enslaved in wars.

They were also imported at young age as Dewshirme-style tributes and trained for serving in the army. This trend continued under subsequent caliphs, making Turks the major force in the army; the supremacy of the Arabs and Persians in the military was dismantled.

Some of these powerful Turk commanders later revolted against the caliphs and declared their independence. The first independent Turk dynasty was established in Egypt in 868. On the eastern front of Islamdom, there arose a Turk slave ruler, named Alptigin—a purchased slave of Persian (Samanid dynasty) King Ahmad bin Ismail (d. 907) of Transoxiana, Khurasan and Bukhara. For his military excellence, Alptigin was appointed in the charge of 500 villages and about 2000 slaves by the Samanid governor Abdul Malik (954–61). Alptigin later became an independent chief in Ghazni. He purchased another Turkish slave, named Subuktigin, who, after Alptigin’s death, prevailed in acquiring power. Subuktigin ‘made frequent raids into Hind in the prosecution of holy wars,’ wrote al-Utbi. However, it was the son of Subuktigin, Sultan Mahmud Ghazni, who launched devastating holy wars against the infidels of India.

About one-and-half centuries later, another band of slave sultans, the Afghan Ghaurivids, launched the final blow to India’s sovereignty, establishing the Muslim sultanate in Delhi. Qutbuddin Aibak, Sultan Ghauri’s Turkish slave turned military commander, became the first sultan of Delhi.

The Delhi sultans used to maintain an army, consisting mainly of slaves of foreign origin during the early period. Slaves from various foreign nationalities—Turks, Persians, Seljuqs, Oghus (Iraqi Turkmen), Afghans and Khiljis—were purchased in large number and drafted into the Ghaznivid and Ghaurid army. Black slaves, purchased from Abyssinia, became the dominant force in the army of Sultana Raziyah (r. 1236–40), the daughter of Sultan Iltutmish.

When the Khilji dynasty (1290–1320), the first non-slave rulers in India, came to power—the Indians, enslaved and forcibly converted to Islam, started appearing in the army, much to the annoyance of orthodox Muslims, who detested the inclusion of the lowly Indians into the armed forces.

But the Mongols had been attacking India’s northwest frontier at this time. The Sultan needed a powerful army, which necessitated the inclusion of slave Muslims of Indian origin. Moreover, the Khiljis had captured power by ousting the Turks, who had been raising constant revolts.

Hence, the Khiljis could not employ the Turks heavily in the army because of the loyalty issue. Later on, Sultan Firoz Tughlaq (r. 1351–88), sensing an impending invasion by the Islamized Mongols (which, indeed, came in 1398 with Timur’s barbaric assaults), needed to assemble a large army. As a result, the Hindus were allowed to be drafted into the Muslim army for the first time in India.

Similar Muslim opposition against the employment of the conquered infidels turned Muslims into the army also existed elsewhere. In Egypt, the native Coptic Christians, who converted to Islam, were not included into the army for a long time.

Role of Indian soldiers: In the army, the Indian soldiers (mostly converted slaves), known as paiks, were normally engaged in lower ranks. They belonged to the infantry. They were drawn from slaves captured in expeditions or obtained as tributes;

Some Hindus also joined the army at later stages to secure a livelihood. The paiks performed all kinds of sundry jobs, such as looking after the horses and elephants; they were engaged in personal services of the higher-ranked cavalrymen.

Muslim sultans and emperors in India kept a huge army; and in the reign of Akbar, ‘A Mogul army in the field had on the average two or three servants for each fighting man,’ notes Moreland.

[18] Naturally, numerous slaves were engaged in the army in different capacities during later periods. When on a military campaign, the paiks cleared jungles and prepared roads for the marching army. When halted or arrived at the destination, they set up camps and fixed tents—sometimes on lands, as much as 12,546 yards in circumference, records Amir Khasrau.

[19] In the battle-field, the paiks were stationed at the front line on foot to absorb the initial assaults. They could not escape from the frontal onslaught, because, horses were on their left and right… and behind (them), were the elephants so that not one of them can run away,’ writes Alqalqashindi in Subh-ul-Asha. Portuguese official Duarte Barbosa (1518) records in his eyewitness account, ‘‘(paiks) carry swords and daggers, bows and arrows. They are right good archers and their bows are long like those of England…

They are mostly Hindus.’’ Some Indian-origin slave soldiers (converted Muslims)—such as Malik Kafur, Malik Naik, Sarang Khan, Bahadur Nahar, Shaikha Khokhar, and Mallu Khans et al.—also rose to positions of power through their military valor and loyalty to the sultans.

[20] In general, Indian slaves in the army did all kinds of sundry jobs, including acting as servants to soldiers, caretakers of the stable of horses and elephants, in clearing jungles and setting up tents and camps. In battle-fields, they stood in the front line on foot with daggers and swords, bows and arrows and bore the brunt of enemy attacks.

A similar trend existed in the employment of native soldiers elsewhere. When the Egyptian Coptic converts to Islam had to be drafted into the army after the initial resistance,

‘they were enrolled in the foot-soldier brigades, which meant that, in case of the army’s victory, they were entitled to receive only half the horsemen share of the war spoils.’[21] The European captives turned Muslims in Morocco, the most hated ones among the slaves, were employed in the army to do difficult battles against deadly rebels.

They had to lead the first wave of attack against the enemy; and they had no way to escape but take the enemy assaults on their bodies. In the battle, if they tried to betray or give way, they were cut up in pieces.

[22] Employment in royal factories: Another major enterprise for employing slaves in large numbers was the royal karkhana (factory/workhouse), which existed throughout the Sultanate and Mughal periods in India.

These workhouses used to produce and manufacture goods of every conceivable royal usage: articles of gold, silver, brass and other metals, textiles, perfumes, armors, weapons, leather goods and clothes, saddles for horses and camels, and covers for elephants.

[23] Thousands of slaves trained as artisans and craftsmen worked in running these factories, watched by senior Amirs or Khans. Firoz Shah Tughlaq had 12,000 slaves working in his karkhanas.

They produced articles of excellent quality for every need of the sultans and emperors, and their generals, soldiers and nobles—including weapons for warfare, and gifts for sending to overseas kings and overlords. Commodore Steward and his entourage, visiting Sultan Moulay Ismail’s workhouses in Morocco, found them ‘‘full of men and boys at work… making saddles, stocks for guns, scabbards for cymiters [sic] and other things.’’

[24] Employment in palaces and royal courts: Following is a summary of Lal’s account of the employment of slaves in royal palaces and court.

[25] Slaves were used in large numbers in various departments of the royal courts. Large numbers of them acted as spies; thousands were needed in the Revenue and Postal Departments for collecting revenues and carrying official communications, respectively.

At the palace, slaves were also needed in very large numbers. Emperor Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan had 5,000 to 6,000 women (wives and concubines) in their harems; and each one of them had a few to many bandis (slave women) to care for them. They lived in separate apartments and were guarded by female guards, eunuchs, and porters in successive circles.

There were also large bands of slaves playing trumpets, drums, and pipes etc. Slaves were engaged in fanning the royal persons and driving away mosquitoes. In the services of Sultan Muhammad Shah Tughlaq (d. 1351), wrote Shihabuddin al-Omari:

‘…there are 1,200 physicians; 10,000 falconers who ride on horseback and carry birds trained for hawking; 300 beaters go in front and put up the game; 3,000 dealers in articles required for hawking accompany him when he goes out hunting; 500 table companions dine with him.

He supports 1,200 musicians excluding about 1,000 slave musicians who are in charge of teaching music, and 1,000 poets of Arabic, Persian and Indian languages. About 2,500 oxen, 2,000 sheep, and other animals were slaughtered daily for the supplies of the royal kitchen.’

The number of slaves needed for these huge undertakings on a daily basis and all other chores of the royal palaces are not available, but not impossible to guess.

Numerous staffs were employed for amusements and sports: hunting, shooting, pigeon-flying and so on. Sultan Alauddin Khilji had 50,000 pigeon-boys in his collection.

Slaves were engaged even to train the fighting instinct of a variety of animals down to frogs and spiders,’ recorded Moreland. Emperor Humayun’s rival Sher Shah, a not-so-powerful and well-established ruler, had employed 3,400 horses in postal communications and maintained about 5,000 elephants in his stable. Seven slaves were engaged to look after each elephant.

Jahangir records in his memoir that four slaves looked after each of his dogs brought as presents from England. According to Moroccan chronicler Ahmed ben Nasiri, Sultan Moulay Ismail had about 12,000 horses in his stable and two slaves were employed to look after every ten stallions.

[26] According to Pellow, who briefly acted as a harem-guard, Sultan Moulay Ismail’s huge harem had 4,000 concubines and wives.

[27] Obviously a large number of slaves were engaged in guarding the harems.

Employment in household and agricultural works: In royal palaces, slaves were employed in tens of thousands. The nobles, provincial governors and high-ranking generals employed slaves in hundreds to thousands in activities of the courts and household chores. One official of Emperor Jahangir had 1,200 eunuch slaves alone.

From expeditions, Muslim soldiers used to get many slaves as their share. Some of them used to be sold away, while the rest were employed in the household and outdoor chores and activities to provide the masters every comfort.

According to Islamic laws as enshrined in the Pact of Omar, non-Muslims could not purchase slaves belonging to Muslims. Therefore, only Muslims could legally buy slaves in the markets of Islamdom. This restriction was likely implemented strictly in the early periods of Islam.

The Muslim population was small during the early decades and centuries of Islam, while the yield of slaves for sale was very large because of the rapid success in conquests.

This oversupply of slaves enabled even ordinary Muslim households to own many slaves as already noted. The yield of captives in certain campaigns was so large that they had to be sold in batches as did Caliph al-Mutasim in 838.

What were these slaves, from a few to many, doing in the household of the ordinary, even poor, Muslim owners? Obviously, they were employed in every conceivable type of labor and chores possible:

household works of every kind and anything that required physical exertion, such as herding the animals and working in the backyards and farms. The slaves, thus, enabled their owners to lead a life of comfort, ease and indulgence free of labor. According to Lewis, ‘Slaves, most of them black Africans, appeared in large number in economic projects.

From early Islamic times, large numbers of black slaves were employed in draining the salt flats of southern Iraq. Poor conditions led to a series of uprisings. Other black slaves were employed in the gold mines of Upper Egypt and Sudan, and in the salt mines of Sahara.’

[28] Segal adds: ‘(They) dug ditches, drained marshland, cleared salt flats of their crust; they cultivated sugar, and cotton in plantations; and they were accommodated in camps that contained five hundred to five thousand each.’

[29] Because of these deadly uprisings, Muslim rulers, later on, were cautious about employing slaves in large congregations on specific projects.

In Islamic Guinea and Sierra Leone, the masters of “slave town” employed their slaves in agricultural farms in the nineteenth century.

[30] The slaves of Sultan Sayyid Sa’id (d. 1856) in East Africa ‘labored in the great clove plantations on Zanzibar and Pemba islands…’

[31] Segal quotes Nehemia Levtzion that ‘‘In the fifteenth century, slaves were in great demand for expanding plantation agriculture in Southern Morocco.’ In the nineteenth century, adds Segal, when the demand for cotton was high and supply of slaves from Sudan was plentiful, they were used to increase production of crop in Egypt, while large numbers of slaves… were used for grain production on the East African coast and in the clove plantation on the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba.’

[32] In the nineteenth century, some 769,000 black slaves were engaged in the Arab plantations of Zanzibar and Pemba, while 95,000 of them were shipped to the Arab plantations in the Mascareme Islands from East Africa alone.[33]

[1]. Lal (1994), p. 97

[2]. Reid A (1993) The Decline of Slavery in Nineteenth-Century Indonesia, In Klein MA ed., Breaking the Chains: Slavery, Bondage and Emancipation in Modern Africa and Asia, University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, p. 68

[3]. Sharma, p. 95

[4]. Gibb, p. 195

[5]. Ibid

[6]. Watson F and Hiro D (2002) India: A Concise History, Thames & Hudson, p. 96

[7]. Lal (1994), p. 84

[8]. Ibid, p. 84–85

[9]. Ibid, p. 86,88

[10]. Gibb, p. 194–95

[11]. Lal (1994), p. 88

[12]. Milton, p. 100–01

[13]. Ibid, p. 102

[14]. Ibid, p. 104–05

[15]. Ibid

[16]. Ibid, p. 240–41

[17]. Large numbers of volunteer Jihadists from the Islamic world, seeing new opportunities for engaging in holy war against the infidels, also poured into Sindh to join Qasim’s army.

[18]. Moreland, p. 88

[19]. Lal (1994), p. 89–93

[20]. Ibid

[21]. Tagher J (1998) Christians in Muslim Egypt: A Historical Study of the Relations between Copts and Muslims from 640 to 1922, trs. Makar RN, Oros Verlag, Altenberge, p. 18

[22]. Milton, p. 135–36

[23]. Lal (1994), p. 96–99

[24]. Milton, p. 186

[25]. Lal (1994), p. 99–102

[26]. Milton, p. 132

[27]. Ibid, p. 120

[28]. Lewis (2000), p. 209

[29]. Segal, p. 42

[30]. Rodney W (1972) In MA Klein & GW Johnson eds., p. 158

[31]. Gann L (1972), In Ibid, p. 182

[32]. Ibid, p. 44–45

[33]. Ibid, p. 60–61

Brahmins and Gotra


  In general, Gotra denotes any person who traces descent in an unbroken male line from a common male ancestor.

Panini defines Gotra for grammatical purposes as ” apatyam pautraprabhrti gotram” (IV. 1. 162),

Which means ‘the word Gotra comes as progeny (of a sage) beginning with the son’s son. When a person says ‘ I am Kashypasa-gotra, ‘ he means that he traces his descendt from the ancient sage Kashyapa.
By unbroken male descent. According to the Baudhâyanas’rauta-sûtra Viśvāmitra, Jamadagni, Bharadvâja, Gautama, Atri, Vasishtha, Kashyapa and Agastya are 8 sages;

the progeny of these eight sages is declared to be gotras. This enumeration of eight primary gotras seems to have been known to Pānini. These gotras are not directly connected to Prajapathy or latter brama.

The offspring (apatya) of these eight are gotras and others than these are called ‘ Gotrâvayava ‘.[24]

The Gotras are arranged in groups, e. g. there are according to the Âsvalâyana-srautasûtra four subdivisions of the Vasishtha gana, viz. Upamanyu, Parāshara, Kundina and Vasishtha (other than the first three).

Each of these four again has numerous sub-sections, each being called gotra. So the arrangement is first into Ganas, then into Pakshas, then into Individual gotras.

The first has survived in the Bhrigu and Āngirasa gana. According to Baudh., the principal eight gotras were divided into pakshas. The pravara of Upamanyu is Vasishtha, Bharadvasu, Indrapramada;

The pravara of the Parâshara gotra is Vasishtha, Shâktya, Pârâsharya; the pravara of the Kundina gotra is Vasishtha, Maitrâvaruna, Kaundinya and the pravara of Vasishthas other than these three is simply Vasishtha. It is therefore that some define pravara as the group of sages that distinguishes the founder (lit. the starter) of one gotra from another.

There are two kinds of pravaras, 1) sishya-prasishya-rishi-parampara, and 2) putrparampara. Gotrapravaras can be ekarsheya, dwarsheya, triarsheya, pancharsheya, saptarsheya, and up to 19 rishis. Kashyapasa gotra has at least two distinct pravaras in Andhra Pradesh: one with three sages (triarsheya pravara) and the other with seven sages (saptarsheya pravara).

This pravara may be either sishya-prasishya-rishi-parampara or putraparampara. When it is sishya-prasishya-rishi-parampara marriage is not acceptable if half or more than half of the rishis are same in both bride and bridegroom gotras. If it is putraparampara, marriage is totally unacceptable even if one rishi matches.[25] sandilya gotra one a gotra of brahmins.about a month ago · 

 Now on Modern day thinking if I add my 2 cents worth of opinion on subject is If we take 1 and divide in to Half i.e 1/ .5 what we get after ten generation is negligible portion.

Let me describe it in detail. One man and One woman. who tie holy matrimony and start Family, They have Kids either Baby Boy or Baby Girl who marries now let us go back to original man who mixed his blood or lineage with Woman, In modern time X and Y and new generation is born.

Now if you divide like that what is significance of Gotra after 10 generation ? is a Million Dollar question to be asked.

Any one wants to throw light on subject and enlighten me. I shall really appreciate it..

We Brahmins are Educated clan and have always been smart in our out of Box thinking and approach.

Isn’t it time to have modern aproch so our society can benefit and we can progress.

Please read my article on VARNA VYAVASTHA / CAST ARRANGEMENTS. written in webdunia.com which is English translation of original Hindi article on subject.

“” ब्राह्मण वंसावली का पूरा विस्तार “” 

भविष्य पुराण से मिलता है।जिसमे ब्राह्मण उत्पत्ति से सभी नियम क्रम दर्शाये गए है।

1) गोत्र: गोत्र का अर्थ है, की वह कौन से ऋषिकुल में से उतर कर आया है। या उसका जन्म किस ऋषिकुल से संबन्धित है। किसी व्यक्ति की वंश परंपरा जहां से प्रारम्भ होती है, उस वंश का गोत्र भी वहीं से प्रचलित होता गया है। हम सभी जानते हें की हम किसी न किसी ब्राह्मण ऋषि की ही संतान हें, इस प्रकार से जो जिस ऋषि से प्रारम्भ हुआ वह उस ऋषि का वंशज कहा गया। गोत्रों की उत्पत्ति सर्व प्रथम ब्राह्मणो मे ही हुई थी क्योकि यह वर्ग ही ज्ञान से इसे स्मरण रखने में समर्थ था। धीरे धीरे जब ब्राह्मण वर्ग का विस्तार हुआ तब अपनी पहिचान बनाने के लिए अपने आदि पुरुषों के नाम पर गोत्र का विस्तार हुआ।

इन गोत्रों के मूल ऋषि – अंगिरा, भृगु, अत्रि, कश्यप, वशिष्ठ, अगस्त्य, तथा कुशिक थे, ओर इनके वंश अंगिरस, भार्गव,आत्रेय, काश्यप, वशिष्ठ अगस्त्य, तथा कौशिक हुए। [ इन गोत्रों के अनुसार इकाई को “गण” नाम दिया गया, यह माना गया की एक गण का व्यक्ति अपने गण में विवाह न कर अन्य गण में करेगा। इस प्रकार कालांतर में ब्राह्मणो की संख्या बढ़ते जाने पर पक्ष ओर शाखाये बनाई गई। इस तरह इन सप्त ऋषियों पश्चात उनकी संतानों के विद्वान ऋषियों के नामो से अन्य गोत्रों का नामकरण हुआ। 

वेदों का अध्ययन करने पर जिन सात ऋषियों या ऋषि कुल के नामों का पता चलता है।जो ब्राह्मण के वंसज हुए और उन्हें के गोत्र से ब्राह्मणों का विकास हुआ। वे नाम क्रमश: इस प्रकार है:- 1.वशिष्ठ, 2.विश्वामित्र, 3.कण्व, 4.भारद्वाज, 5.अत्रि, 6.वामदेव और 7.शौनक।

गोत्र शब्द का एक अर्थ गो जो प्रथ्वी का पर्याय भी हे ओर ‘त्र’ का अर्थ रक्षा करने वाला भी हे। यहाँ गोत्र का अर्थ प्रथ्वी की रक्षा करें वाले ऋषि से ही है। भगवान् ने भी ब्राह्मणों को सभी से श्रेष्ठ इसलिए कहा क्योंकि ब्राह्मण शाश्त्र के साथ शश्त्र भी उठा कर पृथ्वी की रक्षा कर सकते है।इसलिए ब्राह्मण सदैव पूजनीय रहा है।गो शब्द इंद्रियों का वाचक भी हे, ऋषि मुनी अपनी इंद्रियों को वश में कर अन्य प्रजा जानो का मार्ग दर्शन करते थे, इसलिए वे गोत्र कारक कहलाए। ऋषियों के गुरुकुल में जो शिष्य शिक्षा प्राप्त कर जहा कहीं भी जाते थे वे अपने गुरु या आश्रम प्रमुख ऋषि का नाम बतलाते थे, जो बाद में उनके वंशधरो में स्वयं को उनके वही गोत्र कहने की परंपरा पड़ गई। 

 गोत्रों का महत्व :- जाति की तरह गोत्रों का भी अपना महत्‍व है ।

1. गोत्रों से व्‍यक्ति और वंश की पहचान होती है ।

2. गोत्रों से व्‍यक्ति के रिश्‍तों की पहचान होती है ।

3. रिश्‍ता तय करते समय गोत्रों को टालने में सुविधा रहती है ।

4. गोत्रों से निकटता स्‍थापित होती है और भाईचारा बढ़ता है ।

5. गोत्रों के इतिहास से व्‍यक्ति गौरवान्वित महसूस करता है और प्रेरणा लेता है ।

भविष्य पुराण में ब्राम्हण के गोत्रों का उल्लेख मिलता है जो कि निम्नलिखित हैं।प्राचीन काल में महर्षि कश्यप के पुत्र कण्वकी आर्यावनी नाम की देवकन्या पत्नी हुई। इन्द्रकी आज्ञासे दोनों कुरुक्षेत्रवासिनी सरस्वती नदी के तट पर गये और कण्व चतुर्वेदमय सूक्तों में सरस्वती देवी की स्तुति करने लगे। एक वर्ष बीत जाने पर वह देवी प्रसन्न हो वहां आयीं और आर्यों की समृद्धि के लिये उन्हे वरदान दिया। वर के प्रभाव से कण्व के आर्य बुद्धिवाले दस पुत्र हुए -जिनके नाम उपाध्याय, दीक्षित, पाठक, शुक्ला, मिश्रा, अग्निहोत्री, द्विवेदी, त्रिवेदी, पाण्डेय और चतुर्वेदी है। इन लोगो का जैसा नाम था वैसा ही गुण भी था। इन लोगो ने नतमस्तक हो सरस्वती देवी को प्रसन्न किया। बारह वर्ष की अवस्था वाले उन लोगो को भक्तवत्सला शारदादेवी ने अपनी कन्याए प्रदान की। वे क्रमशः उपाध्यायी, दीक्षिता, पाठकी, शुक्लिका, मिश्राणी, अग्निहोत्रिधी, द्विवेदिनी, त्रिवेदिनी पाण्ड्यायनी और चतुर्वेदिनी कहलायीं। फिर उन कन्याओ के भी अपने-अपने पति से सोलह-सोलह पुत्र हुए हैं वे सब गोत्रकार हुए जिनका नाम है- कष्यप, भरद्वाज, विश्वामित्र, गौतम, जमदग्रि वसिष्ठ, वत्स, गौतम, पराशर, गर्ग, अत्रि, भृगडत्र अंगिरा, श्रृंगी, कात्यायन और याज्ञवल्क्य। इन नामो से सोलह-सोलह पुत्र जाने जाते हैं। मुख्य 10 प्रकार ब्राम्हणों के ये भी हैं-

(1) तैलंगा (2) महार्राष्ट्रा (3) गुर्जर, (4) द्रविड (5) कर्णटिका यह पांच द्रविण कहे जाते हैं।ये विन्ध्यांचल के दक्षिण में पाये जाते हैं तथा विंध्यांचल के उत्तर में पाये जाने वाले या वास करने वाले ब्राम्हण 

(1) सारस्वत (2) कान्यकुब्ज (3) गौड़ (4) मैथिल (5) उत्कलये उत्तर के पंच गौड़ कहे जाते हैं। 

वैसे ब्राम्हण अनेक हैं।जिनका वर्णन आगे लिखा है। ऐसी संख्या मुख्य 115 की है। शाखा भेद अनेक हैं । इनके अलावा संकर जाति ब्राम्हण अनेक है । यहां मिली जुली उत्तर व दक्षिण के ब्राम्हणों की नामावली 115 की दे रहा हूं। जो एक से दो और 2 से 5 और 5 से 10 और 10 से 84 भेद हुए हैं, फिर उत्तर व दक्षिण के ब्राम्हण की संख्या शाखा भेद से 230 के लगभग हैं तथा और भी शाखा भेद हुए हैं, जो लगभग 300 के करीब ब्राम्हण भेदों की संख्या का लेखा पाया गया है।

उत्तर व दक्षिणी ब्राम्हणो के भेद इस प्रकार है-

81 ब्राम्हाणो की 31 शाखा कुल 115 ब्राम्हण संख्या (1) गौड़ ब्राम्हण (2)मालवी गौड़ ब्राम्हण (3) श्री गौड़ ब्राम्हण (4) गंगापुत्र गौडत्र ब्राम्हण (5) हरियाणा गौड़ ब्राम्हण (6) वशिष्ठ गौड़ ब्राम्हण (7) शोरथ गौड ब्राम्हण (8) दालभ्य गौड़ ब्राम्हण (9) सुखसेन गौड़ ब्राम्हण (10) भटनागर गौड़ ब्राम्हण (11) सूरजध्वज गौड ब्राम्हण (षोभर) (12) मथुरा के चौबे ब्राम्हण (13) वाल्मीकि ब्राम्हण (14) रायकवाल ब्राम्हण (15) गोमित्र ब्राम्हण (16) दायमा ब्राम्हण (17) सारस्वत ब्राम्हण (18) मैथल ब्राम्हण (19) कान्यकुब्ज ब्राम्हण (20) उत्कल ब्राम्हण (21) सरवरिया ब्राम्हण (22) पराशर ब्राम्हण (23) सनोडिया या सनाड्य (24)मित्र गौड़ ब्राम्हण (25) कपिल ब्राम्हण (26) तलाजिये ब्राम्हण (27) खेटुुवे ब्राम्हण (28) नारदी ब्राम्हण (29) चन्द्रसर ब्राम्हण (30)वलादरे ब्राम्हण (31) गयावाल ब्राम्हण (32) ओडये ब्राम्हण (33) आभीर ब्राम्हण (34) पल्लीवास ब्राम्हण (35) लेटवास ब्राम्हण (36) सोमपुरा ब्राम्हण (37) काबोद सिद्धि ब्राम्हण (38) नदोर्या ब्राम्हण (39) भारती ब्राम्हण (40) पुश्करर्णी ब्राम्हण (41) गरुड़ गलिया ब्राम्हण (42) भार्गव ब्राम्हण (43) नार्मदीय ब्राम्हण (44) नन्दवाण ब्राम्हण (45) मैत्रयणी ब्राम्हण (46) अभिल्ल ब्राम्हण (47) मध्यान्दिनीय ब्राम्हण (48) टोलक ब्राम्हण (49) श्रीमाली ब्राम्हण (50) पोरवाल बनिये ब्राम्हण (51) श्रीमाली वैष्य ब्राम्हण (52) तांगड़ ब्राम्हण (53) सिंध ब्राम्हण (54) त्रिवेदी म्होड ब्राम्हण (55) इग्यर्शण ब्राम्हण (56) धनोजा म्होड ब्राम्हण (57) गौभुज ब्राम्हण (58) अट्टालजर ब्राम्हण (59) मधुकर ब्राम्हण (60) मंडलपुरवासी ब्राम्हण (61) खड़ायते ब्राम्हण (62) बाजरखेड़ा वाल ब्राम्हण (63) भीतरखेड़ा वाल ब्राम्हण (64) लाढवनिये ब्राम्हण (65) झारोला ब्राम्हण (66) अंतरदेवी ब्राम्हण (67) गालव ब्राम्हण (68) गिरनारे ब्राम्हण (69) गुग्गुले ब्राम्हण (70) मेरठवाल ब्राम्हण (71) जाम्बु ब्राम्हण (72) वाइड़ा ब्राम्हण (73) कड़ोल ब्राम्हण (74) ओदुवे या दुवे (75) वटमूल ब्राम्हण (76) श्रृंगालभाट ब्राम्हण (77) गौतम ब्राम्हण (78) पाल ब्राम्हण (79) सोताले ब्राम्हण (80) सिरापतन मोताल ब्राम्हण (81) महाराणा ब्राम्हण (82) चितपाक ब्राम्हण (83) कराश्ट ब्राम्हण (84) त्रिहोत्री या अग्निहोत्री ब्राम्हण (85) दशगोत्री ब्राम्हण (86) द्वात्रिदश ब्राम्हण (87) पन्तिय ग्राम ब्राम्हण (88) मिथिनहार ब्राम्हण (89) सौराष्ट्र।

ऐसे ब्राह्मण के अनेको प्रकार बताये गए है लेकिन मुख्य ब्राह्मण कुल इन्ही सप्तऋषिओ से ही बना है।

विष्णु पुराण के अनुसार ब्राह्मण की उत्पत्ति इस श्लोक से होती है।

श्लोक- वशिष्ठकाश्यपो यात्रिर्जमदग्निस्सगौत। विश्वामित्रभारद्वजौ सप्त सप्तर्षयोभवन्।। 

अर्थात् सातवें मन्वन्तर में सप्तऋषि इस प्रकार हैं:- वशिष्ठ, कश्यप, अत्रि, जमदग्नि, गौतम, विश्वामित्र और भारद्वाज।

इस तरह से ब्राह्मणों के वंस का वर्णन मिलता है।

ये जानकारी अपने अपने बच्चों को जरूर बताये।आज की भावी पीढ़ी को सच्चे ब्राह्मण का अर्थ पता नहीं है इसलिए वो अपने धर्म मार्ग दे भटक गया है।

            “” जय परशुराम “”

Hinduism: Age of the earth according to Vedic chronology

Age of the earth according to Vedic chronology
“The Hindu religion is the only one of the world’s great faiths dedicated to the idea that the Cosmos itself undergoes an immense, indeed an infinite, number of deaths and rebirths. It is the only religion in which the time scales correspond, to those of modern scientific cosmology. Its cycles run from our ordinary day and night to a day and night of Brahma, 8.64 billion years long. Longer than the age of the Earth or the Sun and about half the time since the Big Bang. And there are much longer time scales still.”

“A millennium before Europeans were willing to divest themselves of the Biblical idea that the world was a few thousand years old, the Mayans were thinking of millions and the Hindus billions.”
Dr. Carl Sagan, (1934-1996) famous astrophysicist
According to Vedic chronology, Hinduism describes the age of the earth in detail. Details can be found in the Bhagwat Maha Purana or Bhagwatam.

Our earth is part of a material manifestation called a brahmanda, a group of interrelated but separate regions or abodes called lokas, each conditioned by its respective quality of material time and space. In other words, what would be equivalent to one year in one of these lokas may be correspond to 12,000 of our earth years.

Most of our brahmandais subtle and imperceptible to us. Our earth planet is part of this configuration. A brahmanda is basically comprised of one planetary system with an earth inhabited by living beings, a sun and the above described regions.

According to the chronology of Hinduism, the divine personality who creates this with God’s grace and who oversees it is called “Brahma” (the creator). This is a seat or position located in the subtle or celestial regions of a brahmanda (Brahma – name of the creator), anda – his spherical creation, literally ‘egg’.)

In one galaxy, there is an inestimable number of brahmandas (earth planet + other interrelated and subtle abodes) and their corresponding Brahmas.

The supreme creator or original inspiration for the creation of the entire universe is God.

How old is the earth? The earth came into existence with Brahma and will exist as long as he does. As long as Brahma lives, his creation continues to exist. When his term ends, this brahamanda will enter into absolute dissolution.

In between, there are periodic episodes of dissolution and creation of a lesser order, in which the earth enters a period of dormancy, when all life ends, but is again restored. Brahma is the personality that observes and maintains this schedule.

A soul incarnates in a particular brahmanda and remains there until its end. After this, that soul will enter another brahmanda. This has happened eternally for all the souls and will continue eternally. Only the soul who becomes liberated from maya is exempted from this.

We can calculate the age of the earth from the age of Brahma. The Vedic chronology of Hinduism uses a base unit of calculation called a chaturyugi. This is comprised of 4 yugas (periods of time). Their lengths and corresponding names are:

1,728,000 years = sat yuga

1,296,000 = treta yuga

864,000 = dwapar yuga

432,000 = kali yuga


4,320,000 years = one charturyugi (one 4-yuga cycle)


1000 chaturyugis = one day of Brahma

1000 chaturyugis = one night of Brahma

8,640,000,000 years = one full day (24 hours) of Brahma

100 celestial years = age that Brahma lives to

50 celestial years = Brahma’s current age, or,

155.5 trillion years = the current age of this earth




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